By Vamien McKalin | Aug 04, 2012 10:03 AM EDT
Outlook.com is here now for everyone to try. It is Microsoft's latest effort in trying to compete with Google along with making the Metro user interface seen everywhere on every product and services. One thing you will notice is how clutter free and cleaner Outlook looks when compared to other services such as Gmail, we know many of you might not take a liking to that, but it is true. Outlook.com makes a big deal about Social Networks with the addition of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and we dig it.
We're going to compare both Outlook and Gmail here, and as you may know, the ending might or might not be to your liking, so saddle up for the ride.
Design, Look and Feel
For years Gmail had Hotmail beat when it came down to looks and design. But now with Outlook.com, the tables have changed into Microsoft's favor, and it might stay there for quite some time if Google doesn't make use of its purchase of Sparrow.
Microsoft's iconic Metro UI is the center piece of Outlook's design, everything here feels so easy to use to the point where we have to wonder if this is the same Microsoft from 5 years ago. While the much used Gmail feels cluttered and old, Outlook.com is fresh, clean, and simply beautiful.
Office Web Apps is Here To Stay
This is one of the best things about Outlook.com. Office Web Apps is built in and it feels awesome. When reading and editing Word documents in your browser, the experience will feel similar to the version of Office on the desktop, which makes for an easy transition. The fact that Office Web Apps doesn't have any problem with showing the correct formatting in a document like Google Docs, makes it all the more compelling.
Attachments Here is Well Thought Out
Outlook.com handles pictures and videos much better when compared to Gmail. Pictures are placed at the top instead of the bottom, you also have the option to launch a slideshow. The only problem we found is the requirement of Silverlight to view a simple Slideshow, this should change in favor of HTML5. No one likes Silverlight, and because of that, no one really uses the thing.
Users can also watch Youtube videos in Outlook.com, did you know this? Sure you didn't, we're just messing with you. Some of you might say, "hey, Gmail can do this too." Definitely, but Outlook.com does it better. The video thumbnail in Outlook is bigger and there is a full description, you don't get that in Gmail.
Having trouble sending large file attachments via email? Outlook.com will solve this little problem for you. If you have a SkyDrive account, you will be able send anything that exceeds 25MB, again, making Gmail look old cranky.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Skype
We like how Microsoft is not making Outlook just all about email, it is very social as well. In the message section, users have the option to talk to friends on Facebook, MSN Messenger, and very soon, Skype. You can even link your Twitter with your Outlook account. However, you won't be able to Tweet from inside Microsoft's new email champion just yet.
Far Better Advertising than Gmail
Advertisements in Gmail are very intrusive and feisty and we don't like it. See, these advertisements read your email, getting knee deep in your privacy just to send you relevant ads. Microsoft advertisements in Outlook.com doesn't get down and dirty like that, you know, using what is said in your email to deliver advertisements. Take that, Google!
An Outlook on the Wrap Up
The big question right now that everyone wants to know, is, can Outlook outpace Gmail? We think it can. When you look at both services, Outlook has a more modern look and feel, while Gmail looks like something from an 80s TV Show. We guess this is the reason the company bought Sparrow, to spice up its email offering, but can it take the reins back from Microsoft? We'll find out soon enough.
Anyone up for ditching Gmail in favor of Outlook? Let's hear it.
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